Colonel Aleksei Mikhailovich Kozlov (1934-2015) was a deep-cover intelligence officer in the KGB’s elite Directorate S, the Illegals, during the height of the Cold War. Posing as a traveling German businessman, he was captured by South African counterintelligence in 1980, but not before passing onto Moscow Center shocking information on joint South African-Israeli nuclear weapons tests. This December 20th, 2009 interview with the newspaper Izvestia provides another fascinating inside look at the global-scale operations of KGB Directorate S.
Izvestia: How did you get into Illegal Intelligence?
Kozlov: In 1953 I arrived in Moscow from Vologda to go to the Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO). My character brought me to humanities, and I very much loved the German language. I had wonderful teacher in school – Zelman Shmulevich Pertsovsky. He was a Polish Jew who in 1939, when the Germans entered Poland, crossed the Bug River and turned up on our side. He was simply in love with the German language and quoted Schiller and Goethe by heart. He called me a “slacker” and helped a lot with preparing for higher education. Continue reading Deep Cover in South Africa→
Retired KGB Major General Boris Ratnikov has a story to tell – about the Soviet and Russian intelligence services’ use of psychic espionage in the Great Game. While Ratnikov’s story may sound fantastic, the details on Cold War-era remote viewing programs in both the United States and Soviet Union are very real. With that in mind, perhaps the general’s claims aren’t so far-fetched after all. In this 2006 interview with state newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta (RG), Ratnikov (BR) reveals some aspects of his mysterious work that no less than mirror the popular film Inception.
Major General Boris Ratnikov, 62 years old. Worked in the UKGB [Upravlenie – Directorate] for Moscow and Moscow Oblast. From 1991 he was the first deputy chief of the Russian Federation Main Protection Directorate (GUO). From 1994 to 1997 he was the main consultant to the Russian Federation Presidential Security Service (SBP) and Advisor to the chief of the Federal Protection Service (FSO). Today he is Advisor to the Chairman of the Moscow Oblast Duma. Continue reading The Kremlin’s Psychic Spies→
On radio program Esoteric Hollywood, Jay Dyer and I discuss spy films and how they relate to real-world espionage in the ongoing Great Game. From depictions of KGB Directorate S in the current hit show The Americans to the shadowy backers of 1989’s silly propaganda bomb Red Scorpion, we delve into the lesser-known aspects of spy culture that reflect the realities of intelligence history.
Before the murder of John F. Kennedy on November 22nd, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald – or even possibly a double – visited the Soviet embassy in Mexico City. Retired KGB Lt. Gen. Nikolai Leonov, then on assignment in Mexico’s capital as an intelligence officer, met Oswald that day, and he has little doubt the young American was just a pawn in a much wider plot.
An intelligence officer’s workdays were full of work with active agent networks, with those who had been brought into partnership with Soviet intelligence by previous shifts of our colleagues, and with agents arriving from other countries, etc.
Former KGB General Filipp Bobkov was a veteran counterintelligence officer and chosen by Yuri Andropov to head the Fifth Chief Directorate (Ideological Counter-Subversion), which he led from 1969 to 1983. Bobkov recounts the twilight war of counterespionage waged between the CIA and KGB – a contest with deadly consequences.
In the Cold War, as in any other war, there were successes and defeats – failures and miscalculations that at times led to inescapable consequences. Any intelligence service will suffer the blows of the enemy with difficulty, and the KGB also had to undergo not a few such blows. Betrayals by apparatus officers – those with whom you spend all day, whom you see in the elevator and at meetings, with whom you’re connected by constant engagement in shared matters – these were taken especially painfully.
Appearing to conclude the Daniel Craig era of 007 reboots, SPECTRE not only premiered at the top of the world box office. As could be expected, the film also provides quite a few insights into the nature of real geopolitics and espionage in true Bondian style.
The dark arts of espionage share more in common with historically-rooted secret societies than the media would care to admit. Using decades of experience and observation, KGB First Chief Directorate Col. Stanislav Lekarev (1935-2010) takes us into the murky netherworld of globalist powerplayers, occult orders, and state intelligence services.
In the “Masonic-intelligence” complex, it’s difficult to say who’s more central – who’s the real “leader,” and who’s being “led.” This has taken shape in various ways. It’s well-known that through its men in the Masonic lodges, the CIA is able to channel the work of the international business community into directions needed by the United States. But Masons who work in the CIA are also capable of setting the tone they require.
The Soviet Union’s first ambassador to Egypt, Nikolai Vasilievich Novikov, recounts his pioneering role in establishing diplomatic relations in 1944 with Syria. Novikov provides a rich context to the genesis of Russo-Syrian partnership, describing the geopolitical arena and its attendant intrigues conducted by rival great powers like Britain and France. Novikov’s passage serves as an excellent background to an alliance between Russia and Syria that has regained strategic significance in the Great Game of our own day.
One hellishly hot day, June 15, when all the thoughts of Cairo’s residents—charred from heat—turned if not toward the relaxing beaches of Alexandria, then toward a cool bath or a shower, a respectable-looking stranger from Syria showed up at the Soviet Embassy. Met by advisor Daniil Solod, he introduced himself as Naim Antaki, a member of Syria’s parliament from Damascus, and the former Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Naim Antaki confided that he had arrived in Cairo with a secret message from the Syrian government and can only discuss it with the Ambassador.Continue reading Mission to Syria→
Retired KGB Colonel Vladimir Usoltsev shares his psychological portrait of “Volodya” – his one-time subordinate and current Russian President Vladimir Putin, from their time serving together in a KGB intelligence group in Dresden, East Germany, during the 1980s.
The supply of episodes I remember, ones which I could expound without the risk of fabrication, is gradually being exhausted. I could still recount much, resting on foggy glimpses, but I’d fear to be accused of lying. And the goal itself of my story is not only to tell of our life in Dresden and fill in the gap in the biography of an extraordinary Russian politician, but also to clear up any fantasies and lies. Continue reading Putin in East Germany→